If you want to conquer fear, the best thing to do is make it your companion. Invite it in, share a cup of tea with it, and embrace it compassionately.If you try to run from it, it increases in magnitude.If you suppress it, it causes damage to your psyche and internal organs.But if you allow it to surface and be with it, then your brain eventually becomes bored with your mind's perceived risk.Case in point: the rust stain on my bathroom sink. I covered it up with my eyeglasses case, trying to shut out feelings of disgust and thoughts of contamination. After covering it, the threat of the rust became more impending, because I wasn't able to deal with it as it actually was. My imagination magnified the mar into that of a killer pursuing me in an abandoned forest. Without facing it, there was no way for my brain to experience it and learn that it couldn't harm me. On another occasion, I felt the onslaught of OCD knocking at my door. My muscles tightened and tensed, so that I could take off and run at a moments notice. I felt something awful was going to happen, but rather than experiencing the fear, I tried to ignore it. I clenched my teeth, until i felt a dull ache in my tounge and jaw muscle. I felt the tension mounting, and my head felt it would explode any moment. A migraine came on, because the anxiety had nowhere to go. I liken myself to a teapot in that moment. When I couldn't take it anymore, I took a bottle of wine to the head, and drank until I passed out, and woke up with a raging headache and dehydration induced fatigue”But today I tried something different. When fears about entering my bathroom arose, I allowed myself to sit with it and allow my heart to race, my muscles to tremble, and my skin to itch (whenever I have anxiety, it feels like a million needles pricking my skin, until it feels like its a fire). I allowed the images of a toilet coming alive and rubbing itself on my skin, until I had a nervous breakdown and/or wound up dead (each outcome alternating per haunting vision) repeatedly attack my brain, while asking myself if I had to fight the feeling, acknowledging that it felt uncomfortable, and just reminding myself that this is the way my brain works. After about three minutes of this torture, my brain started naturally shifting to other thoughts, like what I was going to eat for dinner and whether something interesting was on television. I made myself think about going into the bathroom, and felt very neutral about the idea. Somehow, is gotten used to the idea, and the idea of entering my bathroom, no longer frightened me. It was like getting into a hot tub: at first the water is almost too hot to stand, but after sitting in it a while, the water feels cooler, until you don't notice the heat at all, and your body gets used to it.So now I try to make it a practice to “feel the heat” of the anxiety until it cools off. If I jump out of it, before I get used to it, I will always imagine it, or experience it as a lot worse than it actually is.


Leave a reply

© 2023 WebTribes Inc. | find your tribe

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account